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Women's Tennis Wins HBCU Invitational
Saturday, September 17, 2016
Women's Tennis Wins HBCU Invitational

The Tennessee State women’s tennis team ended the HBCU Championships in style thanks to one singles championship and two second place finishes on the singles side. TSU also took home a doubles championship on the day.

The women’s tennis team captured the first HBCU tournament championship in school history.

“I'm very proud of the team and for TSU,” Head Coach Monroe Walker III said.  “TSU tennis has never won it and this was our goal. To have 3 girls in the finals of every flight was great and no other school had that. We came home with a lot of hardware and it shows how hard they worked to get these results. They listened and believed they could improve. With 20 plus schools represented at the tourney and for us to get 1st was a great feeling.”

Ani Popiashvili started the day off winning the Flight B singles championship. Popiashvili cruised to victory by winning the finals by a score of 6-0, 6-0. However, she would not be done for the day. Popiashvili teamed up with Pragati Natraj to win the B Flight doubles championship. The tandem also won the B Flight championship last year.

Freshman Zina Graves and sophomore Pragati Natraj both advanced to the finals in their respective flight. Unfortunately, neither was able to come out victorious. TSU was the only team to have a player in each singles flight championship match.

The Tigers will play in the Missouri State Open Sept. 30- Oct. 1.

A Flight Singles
Semi-finals – Zina Graves(TSU) def. (Howard player), 6-1, 6-0
Finals – (Jackson State player) def. Zina Graves(TSU), 6-2, 6-4

B Flight Singles
Semi-Finals – Ani Popiashvili(TSU) def. (Grambling player), 6-1, 6-2
Finals – Ani Popiashvili(TSU) def. (Southern player), 6-0, 6-0

C Flight Singles
Semi-finals – Pragati Natraj(TSU) def. (Howard player,) 4-6, 6-2, 10-5
Finals – (NC A&T player) def. Pragati Natraj(TSU), 4-6, 4-6

B Flight Doubles
Semifinals – Popiashvili/Natraj(TSU) def. (Alcorn), 8-6
Finals – Popiashvili/Natraj(TSU) def. (Jackson State), 8-4